This is sort of a re-review. This game could've been amazing. Instead it's mediocre with a lot of untapped potential.

User Rating: 6.5 | Final Fantasy XIII PS3
Ok. I recently repurchased Final Fantasy XIII for $9 at Gamestop the other day. I don't know why, but I had an urge to give it another try. I guess it just bugged me that this was the only FF game I've ever sold. I did sell it for Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition, which is a vastly more enjoyable game, but it still bugged me not owning all the Final Fantasy games still. I also justified this purchase to myself by getting it on PS3 instead of the 360 this time. Not that there's much difference besides only needing one disk. So, my impressions after a few years to get over my initial dissapointment? Not much has changed. Knowing what I'm getting into, I find I'm better able to enjoy what's here for this game. Still, it seems like they forgot to add in the Role Playing aspect of the game. There is literally nothing to explore and no context for the world they have you fighting in. Why the heck would I give half a crap about Caccoon and Pulse? I've only walked along a few of both places hallways while watching a bunch of whiniey people from past FF games with different names fight it out in these hallways. The combat is still somewhat refreshing and fun, albeit sometimes frustrating and a few times nearly impossible. Still, besides a few select areas that atually let you explore, that's all there is to the game. Cutscenes and fighting. No towns to explore, no npcs to talk to and get side missions from, no shops to visit (there are shops at each save point though), no overworld and no real need to explore. Just a straight path from one cutscene to the next with a boss fight or two peppered in. There a minor small branches in the path that lead to obvious treasure, but no other variation. It's like they crafted this beautiful world, came up with these awesome cutscenes and then were told they were out of time and had to ship before they could implement the rest of the game. It's such a wasted oportunity, since Caccoon and Pulse seem like they'd be amazing places to explore. Plus, I might give a crap about them if I got to wander the streets a bit and talk to the people I'm supposed to be fighting for.

Of course, if the characters were at all original that might make a difference. They're not. Nearly every character you fight as has been ripped from another FF game. There's main heroine Lightning, a.k.a. Ashe from FF XII, whiney girly-boy Hope, a.k.a. a very annoying version of Vaan from FF XII, the irritating doofus Snow, who best reminds me of Zell from FF VIII if he joined a grunge band and bought one of Seifer's trench coats from a thrift store, Sahsz (I know I didn't spell it right) the token black guy, who starts off kind of funny, but reverts to a whiney jerk like everybody else, Vanille, a.k.a. an Australian Selphie from FF VIII and Fang, whose kind of a butch lesbian version of Lulu from FF X. Besides the token black guy, all the other characters are slight alterations of previous FF games.Only whiney and moody. Lightening barely has a personality (much like Ashe), which makes her the most likeable character of the bunch.

I am able to enjoy this a little more this time around though. Mainly because I already know about these flaws and have had time to cool off over my extreme dissapointment in this as a Final Fantasy game. This is definitely the worst entry yet. Still, as a stand alone game, there's plenty to enjoy here if you have the patience to endure. It just sucks that there's such wasted potential here. This could have been the best entry yet if Squenix took the time to flesh the characters out and let players get to know the game world. Instead you only get a bunch of poorly attempted dramatic monologues and forced conversations from character we don't have nearly enough insight with to appreciate their plight. And you get many battles down alleys and walkways while getting to see what looks to be an amazing world in the background. Still, I have hopes that XIII-2 and Lightning returns will address these issues and possibly renew my faith in Square Enix and Final Fantasy. SInce Dragon Quest is now a mobile series for Nintendo, it's really all I have left from these guys besides Eidos games.

I originally reviewed the 360 version a couple years ago. If you'd care to read my orignal thoughts on this game and how they've changed (or not) with time, the link is: